I was very fascinated by all those pictures of beautifully carved eggs in the net and got a strong desire to try my hands in the art of Egg shell carving. In my first attempt I selected chicken eggs as they are easily available and do not cost a fortune.
But it is very difficult to carve delicate patterns on chicken egg shells by an amateur as they are not strong enough like other varieties normally used. So, instead of carving I have decided to do decorative drilling on chicken eggs and here is the result.
Please watch the video where I have used a color-changing LED to illuminate the drilled egg shell from inside.
Step 1: Tools and Accessories
Professional egg carving artists use very expensive engraving tools like a dental hand piece which is powered by compressed air and generates more than 400000 revolutions per minute. However I used the tools and accessories available with me to do the egg drilling. as listed below :
- Dremel 4000 Multi tool. This produces a maximum of 35000 RPM and is suitable for beginners.
- A Flex Shaft attachment for Dremel Multi tool. This attachment helps in carrying out delicate carving / engraving works.
- Micro Twist Drill Bit set
- A carving / engraving bur bit. This is used to initially drill holes on both ends of the eggs to empty them. I have used a 2.4 mm bur for this.
- A drawing instrument known as the Compass to draw designs around the egg.
Step 2: Empty the Egg Shells
- Mark the center points on both ends of the egg. There are few equipment available in the market for marking on eggs. However, you can use a thread circled around the egg and then folding it in half equally to mark both the ends.
- The center point along the elongated portion.can also be marked by folding the thread further.
- Set the highest rpm, that is 35000 on the Dremel multi tool. Attach the flex shaft. Using the 2.4 mm bur bit drill two holes on both ends.
- Use an empty syringe to drain out the liquid from the egg.
Step 3: Wash and Clean the Egg Shells
- After draining out the liquid from inside the egg shells, wash wish clean running water.
- Clean inside the egg shells with a bleach solution. You can use a syringe to inject the bleach and then shake well by blocking both holes with your fingers.This will help in removing the thin membrane inside the eggs.
- Wash the inside of egg shells once again in running water
- Sun-dry the shells so that it is completed dried without any water.
The last picture shows the dried out egg shell ready for drilling.
Step 4: Mark on the Egg Shell
- We have already marked the center points on the elongated portion of the egg. Connect the points and draw a circle around the egg.
- Now the central circle will be divided into eight equal parts. Here I have used a thread along the center of the egg, measured it and then calculated the length of each segment. Mark these points on the center line.
- Using the Rotary multi tool, drill holes on each point. I have used the 0.5 mm micro twist drill bit to drill these holes. These holes will help in keeping the needle pointer of the Compass in place without slipping on the egg shell surface while drawing circles on the shell.
- Draw circles using the compass. Keep the needle point of the instrument in a hole already drilled and the pencil pointer on the adjacent hole.
There will be eight circles forming the pattern as seen in the last picture.
Step 5: Drill Holes on the Egg Shell
- There are eight circles interlacing each other. We have already drilled holes along the center of the shell. Now drill holes on the junction points of all circles. This will help in uniform spacing of the holes.
- Connect each junction point with equally spaced holes and complete the circle. The second picture shows the completed drilled circle on the shell.
- Continue drilling along all the marked circles connecting the holes in the junction points. The completed piece will look as shown in the fourth picture.
- Though I have marked some floral designs as seen in the first picture, I did not drill them as I was afraid that further drilling will break the shell and make it useless. Instead I drilled five holes in the center of each circle in the empty space as seen in the fifth picture.
- You can hold the egg shell in your palm for precision drilling of the holes
Step 6: Widen the Bottom Hole for Placing a Light Source
The drilled egg shell will be more attractive if this can be illuminated from inside.
- Mark the hole to be widened at the bottom hole of the shell. I have taken a small light bulb as a guidance for this.
- Using the 2.4 mm bur bit, widen the hole as seen in picture 2.
- The light bulb fits snugly in the hole.
Step 7: Light Up the Drilled Egg Shell
I have used a color changing LED to light up the drilled egg shell. It looks good...
This is my first attempt at egg carving / drilling. Some day I hope to learn and make all those complicated carvings on the egg shells as done by experts. Till then Good Bye...